Venture capital loves success. Want proof?
In the Middle East, venture capital (VC) investments have been on the rise.
It is any startup’s dream to one day convince VCs of the worthiness of the business it is undertaking.
Three companies: Mawdoo3.com, Luxury Closet Bags, and Crowd Analyzer have done that.
We look into what made three companies secure a combined $24.3 million dollars of VC funds, last month, from local and international firms.
Arabic is still trending
Although the Arab world has demonstrated a remarkable appetite for spending time online, particularly on social media, very little of the overall content is produced in Arabic, Forbes reports. According to Mawdoo3.com, just 1% of web content is in Arabic, despite the language having 420 million speakers.
Mawdoo3.com is a media company with 150,000 Arabic articles that touch on topics ranging from lifestyle, health, education, food and beyond this made them one of the best Arabic content sites in the world, according to the website, but it just gets better when you look at their numbers.
Mawdoo3.com attracts 45 million unique monthly users, which the company claims make it the world’s most-visited Arabic website, Forbes said.
From a 2015 venture capital fund of $1.5 million which helped them achieve so much, according to Wamda. Today, the company stands to receive another $13.5 million from U.K.-based Kingsway along with U.S.-based Endure Capital, who viewed the company numbers as a springboard to future success.
With the new investment, Mawdoo3 aims to continue adding more online content, while exploring uses of AI technology.
Earlier this year, the company announced plans to launch “Salma,” an Arabic version of Siri and Alexa, which will be used to answer factoid questions from Mawdoo3’s users. It will also have business applications, with Salma able to act as an Arabic voice interface service for businesses in sectors including travel, automotive, telecom and electronics, enabling consumers to engage and transact with these businesses through its voice assistant.
From media to Luxury, here is another VC fund that made Luxury Closet Bags’ dreams come true.
Venture into Luxury
Luxury Closet Bags, an online e-commerce portal, which provides a wide array of authenticated luxury items. Currently the luxury resale portal, Luxury Closet Bags has over 20,000 stock keeping units and continues to expand its portfolio by $5 million worth of products every month. It primarily focuses on the pre-owned segment, which generates 60% of its sales that come from luxury brands such as Rolex, Chanel and Louis Vuitton among others.
The numbers spell good news for the company and investors, as the luxury sector is fast growing in the Middle East with an expected value of over $14 billion by 2023, which is 8% of the worlds luxury goods market, according to Business Insider.
These facts contributed to providing VCs with a trust factor to consider investments into Luxury Closet bags that just recently received $8.7 million in their series C funding. When looking at their overall amount raised through VCs it equals approximately $19 million according to CrunchBase.
Social media is another business that previously went overlooked but has recently attracted attention.
Social media analyzer
Dubai-based startup Crowd Analyzer, which operates an Arabic-focused social media monitoring platform, reports it has raised $1.1 million in a pre-series A round from Gulf-based venture capital firms, Forbes reports.
Crowd Analyzer reports it has corporate customers in 10 Arab countries, with clients including the Dubai Media Group, International Committee of the Red Cross, Expo 2020, Huawei, Souq.com, DHL and Uber.
That spelled good news for Dubai’s Wamda Capital, a VC firm, who led the round, along with Saudi Arabia’s Raed VC, and Kuwait’s Arzan Capital and Faith Capital.
With the new funds, Crowd Analyzer plans to continue developing their business and expand operations in Saudi Arabia, as well as explore opportunities in other regional markets.
Prior to this funding round, the company had raised at least one investment for an unknown amount from the Dubai venture fund and accelerator Turn8.